Connect with us


#WorkLifeBalance - New leave rules for family care




We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The European Parliament is voting on new rules to allow parents and carers better to reconcile their work and family lives.

Why new EU rules are needed

More adaptable working conditions and family and care-related leave would help working parents and carers balance private and professional interests and avoid the need to choose between family and career. They form part of the EU's social policies to improve people's lives and well-being.

The impact on gender equality

Women, whose employment rate was 66.5% (compared to 78% for men) in 2017, are far more likely to work part-time to take care of children and relatives and face career interruptions, which contribute to them being paid on average less and having lower pensions than men.

The new rules for a better work-life balance aim to increase women's employment rate, create incentives for fathers to take family-related leave and promote gender equality and equal opportunities.

Parliament vote

Parliament and Council negotiators reached a provisional agreement on the final text of the new rules on 24 January 2019, which was supported by Parliament’s employment committee on 26 February.


All MEPs will vote on the agreement on 4 April. It would also need to be formally approved by the Council before it can enter into force. After that EU countries would have two years to transpose the rules into national law.

infographic on work-life balance in the European Union     

Main elements of the new rules

The legislation would set new or higher minimum standards for parental and carers' leave.

Fathers would be entitled to at least 10 working days' paternity leave, paid at least at the level of sick pay. This would also apply to equivalent second parents, where recognized by national laws.

People would have the right to at least four months of parental leave, of which two months are non-transferable and paid. The level of compensation would be set by EU countries.

Workers looking after seriously ill or dependent relatives could claim five days of carers' leave a year.

In addition parents and carers would benefit from improved rights to request flexible working arrangements, for example flexible or reduced working hours.

Share this article:

EU Reporter publishes articles from a variety of outside sources which express a wide range of viewpoints. The positions taken in these articles are not necessarily those of EU Reporter.